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29 January 2021

Friday fold: revisiting the Geoscience Communication Pardee Symposium

I have two Friday folds for you today, both by geovisualizers who contributed to the 2019 Geological Society of America Pardee Symposium on Geoscience Communication in Phoenix, Arizona: The first is a painting by talented geoartist Emma Theresa Jude, showing a fold at Caithness, Scotland. The fold in question can be seen at the site of Figure 5 of this paper. I love Emma’s art. What other lovely folds have you …

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6 March 2020

Friday fold: an Extreme(adura) geological history question

The Friday folds are revealed in an elegant cross-section through fantastic rocks in the Extremadura region of Spain.

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23 August 2019

Friday fold: a return to coastal Greenland

We return for today’s Friday fold to a site on the coast of Greenland’s King Oscar Fjord, featured in photographs by Alistair Knock, that first graced Mountain Beltway’s digital pages eight years ago.
Who wouldn’t want to buy that fold?

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5 July 2019

Friday fold: the University of Wisconsin geology museum stained glass window

Today’s Friday fold is rendered in stained glass, along with a bunch of other geological details, as seen at the entrance to the geology museum at the University of Wisconsin (site of our previous Friday fold): Beautiful work!

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14 June 2019

Friday fold: kinked cleavage at Harpers Ferry

Last weekend was the annual meeting of the eastern section of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. On Friday afternoon, we visited Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and my colleague Beth Doyle led a great field trip to examine the rocks exposed there. This was my favorite outcrop we saw: Here is a close up of this outcrop, which is framed by (anthropogenic) rock wall: Dipping shallowly from upper left to …

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20 May 2019

Digital manipulation as a teaching aid

Photoshop is a powerful image editing program. Its “cloning” tool allows the removal of “distracting” data from geological imagery. Examine these four examples and consider the ethical limits of the technique. Is it okay to remove fractures and lichens from an outcrop photo in order to allow novices to focus on the geological content you want them to learn from?

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11 February 2019

When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life Before Dinosaurs, by Hannah Bonner

It has been a while since I’ve reviewed any kids’ books here, but this one was so good that I just have to tell you about it. My son is now 6 and a half years old, and he’s interested in all sorts of natural history topics. Given that I’m a geologist, he’s probably more Earth-science-focused than the average kid, but my wife is a biologist, so he’s got plenty …

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7 December 2018

Welcome to D.C. for #AGU2018

A summary of resources to learn about the geology of Washington, D.C. and the surrounding region, in anticipation of AGU’s Fall Meeting being held in the nation’s capital city.

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11 September 2018

Drawing geological structures, by Jörn Kruhl

After blogging about geovisualization, reader James Safranek alerted me to this new book about two of my favorite things: drawing and structural geology! I requested a review copy from the publisher, who kindly provided one. It’s great! This is “a whole book” about drawing and geology and specifically structural geology. As such, it’s not going to be as pertinent to every reader as it was to me. But I found …

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15 December 2017

Aerial Geology, by Mary Caperton Morton

There’s a lovely new coffee table book out, just in time for holiday shopping. My fellow EARTH magazine contributor Mary Capterton Morton is the author of Aerial Geology, a beautiful massive tome that profiles a hundred geologically interesting locations across the North American continent. Mary was kind enough to forward me a copy for review, and I was delighted to flip through its gorgeous pages. It’s a visual feast, with …

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8 December 2017

Friday fold: Alpine cross sections by Albert Heim

The Friday fold is a figure from a 1922 book about the geology of the Alps by Swiss structural geology genius and artistic master Albert Heim. Marvel at his gorgeous depiction of the internal and long-since-eroded structure of these mighty mountains.

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6 December 2017

My GSW Presidential address

I can hardly believe it but tonight I wrap up my tenure as the 2017 President of the Geological Society of Washington. In our Society, it’s a tradition for the President to give the final talk of the year, a Presidential Address that takes up the entirety of the final regular meeting. I’ll be talking tonight about the art of geology. Specifically, my title is “Visualization in geology: A brief …

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24 October 2017

The View from the Cheap Seats, by Neil Gaiman

I’ve been reading a fair bit of Neil Gaiman over the past year or so: American Gods, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Each of those books is good in its own way, and each is fiction. I just finished a compilation of Gaiman’s nonfiction, and there is enough about it that I think is applicable to the audience of this blog …

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11 October 2017

Pompeii vs. Herculaneum

Italy’s celebrated archaeological site of Pompeii is compared and contrasted with nearby Herculaneum in terms of art, architecture, visitor experience, and (of course) geology.

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7 April 2017

Friday fold: paper demo

The Friday fold is a sheet of paper. Yes, really!

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20 February 2017

Making “Kate Tectonics”

I recently discovered a terrific series of videos on YouTube called “Kate Tectonics.” Watch episode 2, “The History of Geology,” here, to get a taste of the series’ excellent production values and its hip, humorous style:   I asked one of the creators, namesake Katelyn Salem, to share a bit of information about the series: Who’s involved in the series? The credits seem lengthy! Can you give a bit of …

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31 January 2017

Three kids’ books

Cosmology, evolution, and ethics for the four-year old set? It can be done! Join Callan for a brief review of three excellent books for children.

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16 December 2016

Friday fauxld: The sculptures of José Manuel Castro López

The Friday fold isn’t real. Instead, this “faux”ld is a sculpture by Spanish artist José Manuel Castro López. Check it out and contemplate some improbable rheology.

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23 November 2016

A conversation with Zack Labe

Yesterday, I mentioned climate change visualizer extraordinaire Zack Labe. As delineated then, he’s a PhD student at U.C. – Irvine in the Earth Systems Science department. He’s producing some really excellent #dataviz on climate change. Today, I’d like to share a short exchange I had with Zack about his work. 1)      Please give Mountain Beltway readers a sense of your background, leading up to what you’re working on …

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23 September 2016

Friday fold: Shetland geopark rock wall at Northmavine

Can a Friday fold be a work of art as well as a source of geologic insight? The answer can be found as you enter Shetland’s Northmavine region.

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